Looking forward to 2009

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions, but in looking back at 2008, a few things struck me. So, after mulling it over for a few days, I came up with some loose goals for 2009.

Explore B-more
While I certainly didn’t spend 2008 locked away in my apartment, I also didn’t see much of Baltimore. I’ve only been to two of the museums here (AVAM and the Walters, and at the Walters I only saw the special maps exhibit), so I’d like to get to more of the museums this year. I also missed a lot of the festivals/happenings — this year, I’d like to try and make sure I see the Kinetic Sculpture Race and get to a couple of the ethnic festivals. And I’d like to wander around Patterson Park, because it seems neat (there’s a Pagoda for heaven’s sake).

More Mid-Atlantic Travel
Last year I spent a lot of time flying over the Mid-Atlantic. This year I’d like to try and actually see some of it from the ground. As far as Maryland goes, I haven’t been anywhere except Baltimore. I barely got to DC despite the fact that it’s easily accessible and I have friends there. (More now!) So I’d like to get to a couple of other places in Maryland this year — maybe the Eastern Shore and Annapolis (anyone interested?) — and definitely get into DC. I’ve never seen any of the museums or monuments, so even a very touristy trip would be a good thing! Maybe I’ll shoot for a visit during the Cherry Blossom Festival. (If I play my cards right, maybe I can have my DSLR by then. That is an excellent goal!) Speaking of which:

Buy a DSLR and learn to use it
Some of the mysteries of photo composition have been solved for me since I got my digital camera in 2005. It’s amazing what you can learn when you don’t have to pay for film or developing! This year’s big tech purchase will be a DSLR. I haven’t saved up enough money to start doing research yet, but I’m already leaning towards Nikon for a variety of entirely subjective reasons. I think I can work this out to be a mid-March purchase. We’ll see.

Get to Camden Yards for multiple Sox games
A library school friend who is a Red Sox mega fan just moved to DC, so this should be a snap. Meaghan, I have a comfy futon and easy access to the light rail!

Go to the farmer’s market more often
Sheer laziness was really the culprit here. There are no less than three farmer’s markets that are pretty easy to get to (especially if I bothered to use my bike). I’ve moved farther away from the really excellent year-round Saturday morning market, but there are two other seasonal ones that are probably a little easier for me to get to now. This would also feed into:

More adventurous cooking
I cooked quite a lot this year, but I also had a lot of meals that are straight out of the no-brainer rotation. It’s good to have those up my sleeve, especially during times when it’s busy at work, or nights I have to stay a little late. But I need to try and stretch even a bit more. I became mildly obsessed with couscous during my pantry challenge in the fall (something I was going to do for a few weeks, which got stretched out to the rest of the year once I decided to move), and also became reacquainted with lentils at that time. (Where had I gotten the idea that I didn’t like them?!) So that has encouraged me to branch out into exploring more grains and beans. I also need to try and expand my vegetable horizons. Interestingly, the cooking blogs I read are all going in this same direction this year.

I really didn’t have people over to my apartment (the exceptions were out-of-town visitors). At first, it was because there wasn’t really anywhere to sit. Then it was because it was too hot/I was never home/I just wasn’t that enamored of the place anymore. But this year, I think I’d like to try and have people over a few times. I’m not sure exactly what form this will take — with a table that only seats two, it’ll be hard to have a true dinner party (I love to feed people). But I think some careful menu planning could create a meal that would could just as easily be eaten picnic-style. The real challenge? Limiting invitees to so we can all fit comfortably!

Continue keeping a close eye on finances
Everyone has different priorities and needs in this arena, and I’m still at a stage where mine are very clear-cut, basic goals. I’ll continue working on mine this year. In addition, early last year I read Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, which had some ways of thinking about money and finances that were really helpful as a framework. In the next few weeks I plan to skim through portions of that again for inspiration. I’m also going to read The Automatic Millionaire in the next couple of weeks.

2009 is the Year of Beer. I’m going to learn about different styles and brewing processes. And for kicks, I’m going to keep track of what I drink, and where I drink it. (So we all know exactly what I will put down for the first Friday of every month.)

4 thoughts on “Looking forward to 2009

  1. NIKON – all the way! I adore my D40X. Got it for a sweet song on B&H photo (who I highly recommend when you are ready to purchase).

  2. -I really need to get back to doing more exploring of Baltimore too. I used to be much better about it. Then I got lazy. I found some list of 100 things to do in Baltimore from an old issue of Baltimore magazine or Baltimore Style or something. It was a bit outdated when I started it because some of the stuff no longer existed, and I’m sure it’s even more outdated now, but I really meant to work through all the things that were still left for me to do. I should dig that back up again. It’s back in the early days of my blog somewhere.

    -You can come with me to MLA this year. That will get you to the Eastern Shore:)

    -For more veggie options if you want Paul and I could probably go thirdsies with you on the CSA half share. There was many a week we wound up throwing stuff away because we just couldn’t eat enough veggies before it went bad. Especially since I’m generally not motivated enough to do stuff like figure out how to freeze/preserve stuff or make large batches of something that can be frozen/preserved. Except for the zucchini muffins, which of course are still sitting in the freezer entirely untouched.

    -Aren’t there some ethnic foods where people eat on the floor. I’ve never seen a restaurant like that in my real life, but you always see them in movies.

  3. I can identify particularly with the beer and the sox either separately or combined. 🙂 Cooking is also a favorite spare time indulgence.

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts on beer. I enjoy the hoppier brews in the IPA family, as they’re quote flavorful.

    Happy 2009!

  4. Hurray Alison and Red Sox and Baltimore! And I look forward to hosting you in DC … I want to get out and see the museums and things, too.

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